Transport minister Shane Ross today launched Cycle Right, a non-mandatory National Cycling Training Standard for both school children and adults.
As IrishCycle.com reported last September, when the scheme was supposed to launch, the training scheme was delayed until this month.
However, details of the roll out to schools, the access of training for aduilts, and information for trainers or would-be trainers were not released today.
“The Cycle Right will be delivered in different environments, from schools to businesses to community group settings,” it is stated on the Cycle Right page of the Department of Transport’s Smarter Travel website.
Today, the department said that Cycle Right was developed by “a partnership steering committee consisting of a wide-range of stakeholders”, including the department it self, the Road Safety Authority, Cycling Ireland, An Garda Síochána, An Táisce’s Green Schools section, Coaching Ireland and representatives of local authorities.
In a press release, Ross said: “I am delighted to announce that my Department is funding the national roll-out of Cycle Right – the new national cycle training standard – to primary schools for 2017. This new standard, that includes an on-road element of training, will ensure that we have, for the first time, a standardised level of cycle training around the country.”
He added: “The increase in numbers cycling to work in recent years has been striking – in the canal cordon area of Dublin this has more than doubled over the last 10 years. However, what is also striking is that we are not seeing any significant growth in the numbers of children cycling to school. They are the cyclists of tomorrow and we need to give them the skills and confidence to begin cycling now, so that they will develop sustainable travel habits at an early age that they can carry into later life. Safety is at the core of Cycle Right and this new training standard will give children the skills and confidence to cycle safely.”
“I hope that the roll-out of this initiative, following the special meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Road Safety I held last week, shows my commitment to improving road safety and reducing the number of fatalities that affected so many families in 2016. We must all pay more attention on the roads and remember to take particular care around vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. I was delighted to launch the programme and to see the excitement of the children in learning how to cycle safely.”
“It is important that parents support this initiative and use this opportunity to look again at how their children travel to school. I know, from my discussions with my colleagues the Minister for Health and Minister for Children that childhood obesity is a pressing issue and that active travel to school, be that by cycling or walking is very important in addressing this. I hope that Cycle Right will encourage more parents and children to choose cycling as a means of travel to school,” said Ross.